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Bernadette Mayer’s «Midwinter Day»: Dream of the («Extra»)Ordinary. 1. Imagining her self or, more specifically, how words have the power to give texture and. Midwinter Day [Bernadette Mayer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Perhaps Bernadette Mayer’s greatest work, Midwinter Day was written. I had an idea to write a book that would prove the day like the dream has everything in it.” — Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day Today marks.

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I’m not sure if this makes the work more meaningful since the reason for its existance has become more explicit, or less meaningful since part of its mystique has been deconstructed. In little ways that make me smile. She questions her own writing practice as it has been revealed within this bernadetet It had been about a year since I first trudged my way through Mayer’s long poem, and bernaeette I found that midwinrer general impressions hadn’t dau much.

Big Sky, ; Available online: By part five, you’re there with her watching your daughter’s dance and bernadegte where this all fits into the whole whatever business. Mayer does not just record that her child had a tantrum in the public library, instead she brings us into the emotion, into the chaos and the depths showing how language can go into an experience rather than simply retell the experience. Guiding principles if you will. Mayer thus alerts us right away that she will be putting her own subversive stamp on this mini-genre.

The family survives the long night, and Mayer stays awake literally stoking the fire with her pen and her endless memories that she lays out to keep the dark at bay. Mayer expresses a certain ambivalence about the cycles of her own life – her home, her town – day after day the same sights, the same relationships, the same actions – and yet there is something profoundly wonderful in every moment.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: You can find out more about these events which have been organized by Becca Klaver here. This work steps outside the boundaries of traditional history, literature, and mythology challenging the reader to trace a feminine perspective through the dailiness of mothering coupled with the sacred act of creating and the mysterious investigation into the psychoanalytical exploration of dreams and memory.

Jan 01, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: Mayer herself will take part in the Albany, NY reading! Bernadette Mayer born May 12, is an American poet, writer, and visual artist associated with both the Language poets and the New York School. Thank you for your interesting account.


The starts and stops of the dream narrative along with the digressions into memory seem to try to mimic the process of sleep.

Review – Bernadette Mayer, ‘Midwinter Day’

A long poem about a short day, Mayer’s six-part work purports to document the daily routine of the woman writer raising children. Thinking things the world. Here, the poet walks with kids in tow, stops by the small-town post office and the library, and hauls her daughters along to bookstore and market, as in this passage:. Little more than pages and pages of free-writing, Mayer would like to pass this off as some innovative, poetic experiment. This return signals a circling back towards the dreaming world and foreshadows the next section which leads to the close of the day and the end of the light.

Mayer implies as well that the threads of life although they may appear random are in fact connected and that the dawning of the new day symbolizes another opportunity for understanding. At the time Midwinter Day was just a concept to me, and I imagined a book that was more accomplished as ours, but still an experiment, so having many of the flaws that our books did.

ALL THE FEMINIST BOOKS: Midwinter Day by Bernadette Mayer – WEIRD SISTER

The work starts off a little slow, and continues to trudge along until the end. So, even as she affords them the importance of being retold in the poem, she is aware that the recreation is a fiction tempered by her own anxieties and fears. She tries to write down everything she does, dreams, thinks in a single day.

Mayer brings attention to how lists replace memory and how memory functions to create lists and, in relation to lists, how one assigns value to the items encased in the list form. From toMayer served as director of the Poetry Midwintwr, and her influence in the contemporary avant-garde is felt widely, with writers like Kathy Acker, Charles Bernstein, John Giorno, and Anne Waldman having sat in on her workshops. The piece as a whole is an experiment into what ordinary life is truly about.

The threat is that the bernadett has no control over the dream and therefore to tell it truthfully may reveal more than she is willing to share.


To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. By calling attention to this, Mayer questions the reality bernsdette this notion; does language become more fixed in adulthood or is that a misconception that is simply accepted and not questioned? There is a consciousness in regard to the writing life always at work in the poem whether it is present in her obsession with book titles or in questions of poetics that come up: These two parts representing the interior life of the family at morning and at evening bernacette the middle part three, which occurs exclusively outside of the home focusing on family errands and the history vernadette mapping of the town.

Especially in the more stereotypically poetic sections. Most of the pages are filled with trivial things: Jul 12, Avishay Artsy rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Leaving Lines of Gender: I write of bribery and surgery.

Look at this, see, you do, which one are you. Mayer has a strong sense of voice, however it’s not one that I can personally cope with.

She is creating a parallel beernadette of a hierarchy between higher poetic language and everyday speech. Dec 15, Mark Desrosiers rated it did not like it Shelves: To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: I suffered through this book when it was assigned in American 20th Century Poetry.

Listing is a device that Mayer returns to throughout the poem; in part two she uses it to set the scene cataloguing the entire makeup of several rooms of the house. It midwintef sense then that this section would be preoccupied with the act itself and brrnadette life that she has chosen as a writer: You gain an understanding into another human mind and its bumps and tangents.

She miwinter it repeatedly. This is from the first section which is mostly about waking up from dreams: Is this book a poem, a memoir or a psychological experiment?

The melding of high and low art converges in this section through her descriptions and allusions to books. Unlike a spoken conversation that can be misconstrued or colored by emotions, the letter is composed in tranquility, a recollection of thought that is more permanent bernadettr by its object presence in the world.